one of the greatest luxuries we, those of us living in metros in india, have are the maids/ ayahs/ domestic help that we are able to hire to help with a wide range of domestic chores.
this army of people (the service providers) are a critical part of the daily lives of all nuclear dink/disk/dimk families. (no, i am not saying rude things about these families. these terms only stand for 'double income no kids', 'double income single kid' and 'double income multiple kids'!)
a good measure of how important these people are in our lives is the extent of trauma/ chaos they manage to inject in our usually-busy lives by their mere absence! life gets thrown completely out of gear the day they decide to play hooky. even our respective work-places don't get as badly affected by our absence. (maybe that tells us something about our respective value in the scheme of things!).
and on those days that we have to make do without the services of these people, we suddenly realise how dependent we have become on this luxury. i am also amazed at the energy levels of these people since they manage to do these chores in at least 3-4 homes each day. i get pooped after washing dishes after one meal!
btw, i am speaking so passionately about this topic because we are currently going through a lean phase without a maid. and i've just finished washing up after dinner!the mood at home these days, especially in the mornings, tends to be grim or 'on the edge'. (i firmly believe that communal prayer can work miracles. and i'm hoping you would pray that we quickly find a replacement maid! my prayers for personal salvation and global peace can wait until then.)
and this is the reason why i never ask my wife the question - 'who is more important to you - the maid or i?'. i am mortified that she will give me an honest reply!